Agenda and minutes

Executive
Tuesday 5th February 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping Room - Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510

Items
No. Item

111.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no Apologies for Absence.

112.

Unconfirmed Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2019.

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 January 2019 be signed as a true record.

113.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.

114.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

115.

E/18/48 Council Tax Long Term Empty Premium and Care Leavers Discount Premium pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Sophie Meudec

 

This report covers two proposed changes to Council Tax for 2019/20. The first is an increase in the premium charged for long term empty properties. The second is the introduction of a discount for care leavers. Both are proposed to take effect starting on the 1st April 2019.

Minutes:

115.1   Councillor Meudec explained that the first part of the proposal was to increase the Council Tax Premium paid by owners of empty properties. The increased charges would be phased, with the 300% premium for those with homes which had been left empty for more than 10 years proposed to be implemented from April 2021. The scheme was intended to incentivise owners to bring their properties into use. Councillor Meudec noted that the existing 50% premium had been effective, alongside proactive work by the Council, in bringing down the number of long term empty properties from 232 in 2012 to just 85 in 2018.

 

115.2   Councillor Meudec explained that the second part of the proposal was to offer a 100% discount to Care Leavers up until the age of 25. The County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner had agreed to bear the cost of their proportion of the discount. Councillor Meudec commented that the scheme would help some of the most vulnerable people in Ipswich.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a.            that Executive recommend to Council an increase from 50% to 100% as a premium of Council tax for the properties that have been long term empty and unfurnished for more than two years with effect from 1 April 2019.

 

b.           that Executive recommend to Council a Council Tax premium of 200% for properties that have been long term empty and unfurnished for 5 years and over from 1 April 2020.

 

c.            that Executive recommend to Council a Council Tax premium of 300% for properties that have been long term empty and unfurnished for 10 years and over from 1 April 2021.

 

Reason:  To encourage the occupation of long term empty properties by way of a further increase in the Council Tax premium.

 

d.           that Executive recommend to Council the Council Tax Care Leavers local discount policy, providing a class of local discretionary Council Tax discount of up to 100% for care leavers aged 18 – 25 years where Suffolk County Council held corporate parenting responsibility at the point at which the young person left care, to be administered under the provisions of Section 13A(1)(c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

 

Reason:  To provide discretionary discount support for care leavers in Ipswich.

116.

E/18/49 Non-Domestic Rates - Retail Discount pdf icon PDF 575 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Sophie Meudec

 

This report sets out proposals to introduce a discretionary retail discount scheme for ratepayers occupying properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 for each of the years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Minutes:

116.1   Councillor Meudec explained that this discretionary relief scheme would benefit an estimated 343 businesses in Ipswich, of which almost half were in the town centre. There were also a further 94 vacant properties which might benefit from the relief. Councillor Meudec noted that this retail discount would be fully funded by the Government and that the types of eligible business as outlined by the Government were listed in the report.

 

116.2   Councillor Jones agreed that the scheme was a welcome one but commented that the Government had previously done too little to support town centres against online and other competition. Councillor Jones also noted the difficulty of larger retailers closing down, which often left sizeable premises unoccupied, and that this relief would not support those businesses to keep their shops open.

 

116.3   Councillor Ellesmere noted that the scheme excluded banks which he felt was regrettable as these often drew customers to town centres and commented that many Councillors from other towns in Suffolk had complained of the impact of the closure of banks, although it was unlikely to be an issue in Ipswich.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a.            that the introduction of a discretionary retail discount policy as set out in Appendix E be approved for the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21.

 

Reason:  To provide a discretionary retail discount to support ratepayers in Ipswich.

 

b.           that authority be given to the Shared Revenues Partnership to administer the discretionary retail discount scheme.

 

Reason: To enable the implementation of the discretionary retails discount scheme.

117.

E/18/50 Ipswich Local Development Scheme Review pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Carole Jones

 

The Council is legally required to prepare and maintain a local development scheme, which is the local planning authority’s work programme for the preparation of development plan documents. A full review of the Ipswich Local Development Scheme October 2015 is proposed to:

·         Reflect the fact that the Ipswich Local Plan was adopted in February 2017; and

·         Update the timetable for the preparation of the Local Plan Review being undertaken in alignment with neighbouring local planning authorities.
 

The review will also, for completeness, update the timetables for the preparation of outstanding supplementary planning documents; however this is not a statutory requirement of the Local Development Scheme. The report requests Executive’s approval of the proposed amendments to the October 2015 Local Development Scheme and authority to bring the revised Local Development Scheme into effect.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

117.1   Councillor Jones introduced the report, explaining that it was a requirement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 that the Council adopt a Local Development Scheme, which was a document which set out its work programme for development plan documents. Councillor Jones reported that the scheme had been updated to reflect the current position in relation to the Local Plan and existing and planned Supplementary Planning Documents.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a.            that the proposed revisions to the Local Development Scheme work programme as set out in paragraphs 4.1 to 4.20 and Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

 

Reason: The local development scheme needs to be kept up-to-date to comply with legislation and so that stakeholders know what the Council’s programme of plan preparation is, and also to ensure that progress monitoring through the annual authority monitoring report is completed against a full list of documents and robust timetables.

 

b.           that the revised Local Development Scheme be referred to Council for adoption.

 

Reason: In order to be able to bring into effect the revised local development scheme in accordance with section 15 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended).

118.

E/18/51 Response to Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) consultation pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) were created by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

 

This report informs Executive of the outcome of the public consultation concerning the draft Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and requests Executive decide the next steps. It also requests the adoption of an amendment to the Public Protection Enforcement Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

118.1   Councillor Ross explained that the Suffolk Constabulary had requested that the Council review its Public Spaces Protection Orders to make Ipswich easier to police. The Council had carried out a very thorough consultation on the proposals which had been responded to by more than 500 people. Government guidance was being considered in relation to some parts of the proposed Public Spaces Protection Order, however, the two elements included in the report, Urination and Defecation, and Dog Fouling, had been supported by very significant majorities and were not the subject of this guidance. Councillor Ross explained that it was therefore proposed to adopt these elements of the order as soon as possible, especially as residents were seeing an increase in the issues covered by them.

 

118.2   In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Councillor Holmes

‘Has the Executive abandoned proposals in the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) consultation to make loitering an offence throughout Ipswich?’

 

Councillor Ross explained that the Council had not abandoned other proposed amendments to the PSPO, noting that paragraph 1.2 of the report stated that “A further report to the Executive is anticipated during 2019 to consider other areas of anti-social behaviour”.

 

Councillor Ross reported that the consultation in relation to the PSPO had received a very large response that covered some wide ranging views and that the Council needed time to evaluate these responses properly and look to see if any further evidence or work was required before bringing the PSPO forward for consideration.

 

Question 2 – Councillor Holmes

‘In relation to dog fouling provisions within the PSPO please could the Executive confirm:

a.    the number of enforcement proceedings taken under existing bylaws for dog fouling in Ipswich over the last three years and whether or not it is anticipated that proceedings under the PSPO period of three years will exceed them;

 

Councillor Ross explained that no fixed penalty notices had been served for dog fouling during the last 3 years. Councillor Ross informed the meeting that a fine could only be issued once an owner had failed to pick up waste after being instructed to do so. Councillor Ross said that officers had been proactive with regard to preventative dog fouling patrols and that this might lead to an increase in enforcement proceedings in the future. Councillor Ross commented that the success of the PSPO was not the number of fines but the reduction in the incidences of dog fouling. Councillor Ross explained that the implementation of the PSPO for dog fouling would mean that the Council could utilise recent legislation rather than using older legislation, which had been superseded twice, and did not allow the council to make any suitable changes, such as altering the fine level or specifying conditions and/ or exemptions. Councillor Ross noted that using more current legislation would allow the Council to bring the penalty level in line with other similar offences, such as littering, and also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

E/18/52 Air Quality Action Plan pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross

 

This report summarises the results of the Source Apportionment Study, the findings from the key stakeholder meetings, as well as the public and statutory consultation regarding the Draft Air Quality Action Plan. This forms part of the statutory process following declaration of a fifth and amendments to three of the Borough’s Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs).

 

The report proposes that the Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) is agreed in full, including the recommended measures. It should be noted that the AQAP is a live document and will be subject to relevant amendments and additions where required to ensure the document remains relevant in achieving the required objectives.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

119.1   Councillor Ross noted that Ipswich was already doing well compared to most urban areas, with good air quality highlighted in the recent Centre for Cities report, however, the Council needed to continue to work to improve air quality further. Councillor Ross commented that the Government had failed to show leadership on this issue and that Suffolk County Council had control of most levers to reduce air pollution. Councillor Ross explained that Ipswich Borough Council had developed the action plan to enable it to work with Suffolk County Council and other agencies to reduce air pollution in Ipswich. Councillor Ross said that the plan should lead to noticeable reductions in air pollution.

 

119.2   In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following questions were asked:

 

Question 3 – Councillor Holmes

Does the Executive accept that the main national policy for improving air quality is now contained within the UK Plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations (the 2017 Plan) and, if so, can they point to any researched and costed measures within the draft Air Quality Action Plan which will achieve the objective of reducing NO2 to legal compliance levels within the shortest time possible?’

 

Councillor Ross explained that the 2017 plan referred to by Councillor Holmes had been superseded by the Clean Air Strategy 2019 and the Road to Zero which were the Government’s main policy documents that addressed the issues of transport related air pollution.

 

Councillor Ross stated that the measures within the Air Quality Action Plan had been proposed with the aim of achieving improved air quality within the shortest time. Councillor Ross reported that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs had approved the Council’s action plan during the consultation process. Councillor Ross noted that officers were looking at further modelling and assessments that could be conducted to more specifically establish the contribution towards reducing NO2 emissions by the current measures, and whether any further work could be undertaken to ensure compliance with the legal standards within the shortest time possible.

 

Question 4 – Councillor Holmes

‘How can the Executive demonstrate required reductions in NO2 emissions in Ipswich within the shortest possible time when the Local Plan Revision Policy DM3 anticipates that further congestion is likely to be generated within existing Air Quality Management Areas leading to increased NO2 emissions and that further roads are likely to become designated as AQMAs?’

 

Councillor Ross explained that action plan contained 27 actions which demonstrated how the Council and its partners intended to address air quality in Ipswich. The completion dates were considered realistic but challenging and had been designed to ensure that momentum was maintained to improve air quality. Councillor Ross explained that the Council would continue to monitor air quality and develop suitable mitigation measures which will be included in the Air Quality Action Plan if emissions were to increase.

 

Councillor Ross commented that Ipswich Borough Council was working with neighbouring local authorities and Suffolk County Council to develop air quality  ...  view the full minutes text for item 119.

120.

E/18/53 Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 (including Budget 2019/20) pdf icon PDF 449 KB

Portfolio Holders – Councillor Martin Cook and Councillor David Ellesmere

 

This report presents the “Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20” document, which includes the budget for 2019/20 and the provisional budget for future years.

 

Executive is requested to recommend that Council, on 27th February 2019, approves the “Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20” document and in particular:

 

1)        General Fund – budget, savings, growth, fees and charges and Council Tax levels for 2019/20;

2)        Capital Programme – three year programme;

3)        Treasury Management and Reserve Levels.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

120.1   Councillor Ellesmere explained that the report set out the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan for the next four years. Councillor Ellesmere noted that the proposed increase in Council Tax was lower in both cash and percentage terms than the increases proposed by Suffolk County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner. Councillor Ellesmere commented that despite cuts to Government funding the Council was still investing in services.

 

120.2   Councillor Cook commented that the Council’s investment strategy had helped to protect services.

 

120.3   Councillor Ellesmere noted that Suffolk County Council only identified the cuts to funding it would need to make for the forthcoming year, which he felt was an unhelpful approach as it did not allow for adequate preparation to be made, whereas Ipswich Borough Council’s 4 year approach helped people plan for changes.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

that Executive recommends that Council:

 

a)        approves the enclosed “Financial Strategies and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 Onwards” document including the Finance Strategy, Capital Strategy, and in particular the figures and estimates contained in it;

 

Reason: This is a lawful budget, which supports the Council’s priorities.

 

b)        approves a Council Tax Requirement of £13,836,560 for 2019/20 including the investment and savings programmes identified in Section 3 of the “Financial Strategies and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 Onwards ” document;

 

Reason: This is a lawful budget, which supports the Council’s priorities.

 

c)        approves the Ipswich Borough Council Tax levels for each property band for 2019/20 as set out in paragraph 8.6;

 

Reason: This is a lawful budget, which supports the Council’s priorities and will allow the collection of the 2019/20 Council Tax.

 

d)        authorises the Section 151 Officer to recommend to Council the remaining calculations of final Council Tax levels once all precepts and other levies have been received from the authorities concerned;

 

Reason: This is a lawful budget, which supports the Council’s priorities.

 

e)        approves changes in discretionary fees and charges anticipated to yield a net increase of 2.5% in income during 2019/20 onwards;

 

Reason:  To ensure a consistent fees and charges increase.

 

f)         that the Resources Portfolio Holder be authorised, in consultation with other Portfolio Holders and the Section 151 Officer, to vary the fees and charges level, provided it achieves a similar yield for 2019/20 as approved in this report;

 

Reason: To ensure fees and charges relate to current costs of providing services and are competitive.

 

g)        approves the Capital Programme for 2019/20 and future years, together with the resources, shown in Section 6 of the “Financial Strategies and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 Onwards” document;

 

Reason: This is an affordable and reasonable way for the Council to deliver the priority themes and spend its capital resources.

 

h)        approves the Prudential Indicators for 2019/20 as shown in Section 7  of the “Financial Strategies and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 onwards” document;

 

Reason: This is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2003.

 

i)          approves the Treasury Management Policy Statement for 2019/20 as shown in Section  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.

121.

E/18/54 Ipswich Borough Council Cash Grants 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Sophie Meudec

 

This report details the proposed grant payments to voluntary and community sector groups for 2019/20.  Executive is asked to consider the recommendations for grants as set out in Appendix 1, and decide which grants should be approved.

Minutes:

121.1   Councillor Meudec reported that the Cash Grants budget had been increased by £9,000 for the 2019/20 financial year. Councillor Meudec commented that this would help to support the valuable work of voluntary organisations. In assessing the applications members of the Communities Working Group had considered over 1000 pages of information from 43 applicants. Councillor Meudec explained that as happened every year, the funding requested exceeded the budget available, and that the Community Engagement team would work to support those organisations which were unsuccessful.

 

121.2   Councillor Ellesmere commented that he was pleased that Ipswich Borough Council could increase funding to voluntary organisations, noting that Suffolk County Council had chosen to cut its funding for Citizens Advice.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a.            that the Community Grant allocations detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be approved, having taken account of the recommendations of the Communities Working Group and those of the Portfolio Holder for Communities, Leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder.

 

Reason: To adhere to the Community Grant Allocations Policy and support the Community and Voluntary Sector.

 

b.            that the S151 Officer be authorised to increase the Cash Grant budget to £375,000 per annum from 2019/20 onwards in the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

Reason: To enable the funding of the grants listed in Appendix 1.

122.

E/18/55 Former Tooks Bakery Site Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Neil MacDonald

 

This report updates Executive on progress made since it resolved to appoint Handford Homes Limited as its development partner for the former Tooks Bakery site (report E/18/16).

Minutes:

122.1   Councillor MacDonald explained that he was pleased to bring this update to Executive, showing that the good progress was being made on the scheme with houses due to be completed in the Summer of 2020.

 

122.2   The Chief Operating Officer explained that since the report had been prepared contracts had been signed between Handford Homes and Gipping Construction and that a Considerate Constructor’s registration had been obtained.

 

122.3   Councillor Jones commented that she was pleased that 60 well designed and well built new homes were to be delivered in Ipswich.

 

122.4   Councillor Meudec noted that she had received complementary feedback from residents living near to the site about the flyer inviting them to the meeting about the works.

 

122.5   Councillor Ellesmere noted that it had been difficult to get the project to this stage and that he was very pleased by the progress made.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

thatthe progress made by Handford Homes Ltd to bring the Tooks Bakery development forward on its behalf be noted.

 

Reason: To achieve the Council’s objective to build 1,000 homes in ten years, and to promote regeneration of the wider area.

123.

E/18/56 Provision of Box Office Software pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Bryony Rudkin

 

This report details the work that has been carried out to procure a replacement box office ticketing provider.  Executive is asked to approve the recommendation to appoint a replacement box office ticketing provider.

Minutes:

123.1   Councillor Rudkin explained that customers were expecting more from Box Office software and that this new system would be a significant improvement on the present one.

 

123.2   In accordance with Standing Orders Part 3 Section 3 Paragraph 3.5, the following question was asked:

 

Question 8- Councillor Phillips

‘Please could you explain who will measure efficiency and make the decision whether to extend the contract past the initial duration of 24 months, will the decision come back to Executive or will it be an Officer decision?’

 

Councillor Rudkin explained that efficiency was to be measured within the service and monitored through the Council’s Performance Management system.

 

Councillor Rudkin referred to paragraph 13.2 of the report, which stated that any decision to extend the contract would be an officer decision. Councillor Rudkin explained for clarity that the recommendation to Executive related to the extension was to authorise the Commercial Development Operations Manager, in consultation with the Operations Managers for Finance & Legal, to enter into future contract extensions of a maximum of 2 years.

 

It was RESOLVED:

 

a.            that the Commercial Development Operations Manager, in consultation with the Operations Managers for Finance & Legal Services, be authorised to contract with Supplier A as identified in exempt Appendix 1 to the report, for the provision of box office software from 11th August 2019 for an initial period of 2 years.

 

Reason:  The supplier listed is capable of meeting the Council’s requirement and their proposal is the most economically advantageous to the Council.

 

b.           that the Commercial Development Operations Manager, in consultation with the Operations Managers for Finance & Legal, be authorised to enter into future contract extensions of a maximum of 2 years, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the G-Cloud framework, providing that any such extensions are the most economically advantageous method of providing continuity of service.

 

Reason:  To ensure continuity of service in the most economically advantageous way to the Council.

124.

Exclusion of Public

To consider excluding the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the remaining items under Regulation 21 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2000 as it was likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 


 

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

125.

E/18/56 Provision of Box Office Software - Exempt Appendix

Portfolio Holder – Councillor Bryony Rudkin